#17 Mad support for Railways
The Irrational World Blog 2011

CfBT spins a report to claim UK has commuter prices 10 times Europes
and the crazy HS2 plan
- 1. they spun the report & didn't compare like with like
- 2. The truth is passenger railways are unsustainable
- 3. They can only function as an add on to profitable freight lines
- It's not up to the UK to follow other countries who are destroying their own economies by throwing money at rail subsidies

Will the HS2 ticket price justify the expenditure ?

- HS2 - what's all this talk of calculating the productive time businessmen will save . You are jut getting too far away from the idea of letting the market decide
..what you simply do is calculate the future price of a NORMAL train ticket for the route in 2020 and then compare that with the price people will pay to save the time...
- I suspect people people won't be prepared to pay £50 extra on a £200 ticket to save 10 minutes

- if people want to arrive earlier, they should leave earlier.

- let market decide #HS2 VIABILITY : Ask if expenditure is covered by EXTRA price freight & passengers are prepared to pay ..over other options

- will MPs & union leaders agree that their pension pot should be the first money into #HS2 ?

- when have big rail dream projects ever not lost huge amounts of money ? same arguments for #HS2 as for Channel Tunnel

- the idea it's for businessmen is a redherring, passenger railways can only be addons to profitable freight lines, passenger railways have never been profitable

- what % of journeys begin & end at HS2 stations ? close to zero

- #HS2 is 99:1 99% are paying for something that only 1% will use, it's Cameron 's Millennium Dome
- for the 1%. For the 99% it's back in your cars,
- HS2 could be called Bankers Rail as they will be the only ones who can afford tickets on Cameron's Dome
- doing nothing is better than doing the wrong thing

‎- HS2 must have an army of disinformation people
"It will even extend to Leeds" - Leeds to London you wouldn't go via Manchester ..ah actually it doesn't the line splits into a Y & Birmingham, but you still wouldn't go thru Birmingham to get to Leeds when there already is a fast direct line to London
"It will bring prosperity" - Doncaster is already on a HS line it's not booming

- What's the real reason for HS2 ? What's their vision for transport 2037 when there will be high speed self driving cars & trucks and airship network linked to sky towers ?
- Why not a nano pipeline railway going from supermarket to supermarket ?

- - In a country where most people have no practical access to the rail network we yet again subsidize London just after we have given them £15.9 billion for Crossrail

Crazy CfBT subsidies : Dangerous to lose contact with the real price of things
- When I am in London I walk or use the bus I never use the train or underground as it's not worth the cost. And that the problem with the CfBT subsidies you lose contact between the real cost and the ticket price. Rail is about freight not passengers; the normal point with passenger rail is that run on infrastructure of the profitable freight rail system. It encourages people to make journies which they can't in a free market afford to do

- Rail study : CfBT (Campaign for Better Transport) compared worst case scenarios instead of typical to best spin their message.

- I was wrong when I said the main point is report doesn't take account of cheap advance purchase fairs, that was for of their previous report. I agree with the More or Less analysis

- This one is a comparison of commuter fairs ..the report is fishy cos it's of the form "too bad to be true" But since it confirms what people want to believe, people including the press are prepared to believe it and pass it on. And it is not directly untrue; they've just copied the PR techniques which the train operators of not comparing "like with like" in order to give spin to their message. Interesting to release it during a public holiday ..so preventing a rapid response.

- Similarly the ATOC response focused on a £6 a day figure assuming the passenger uses the train 7 days/week 52 weeks

- I was actually on the Velletri train this year it's old, slow & infrequent and a season ticketer would find the trains were on strike a few times a year. The general talk on rail communities is that in a free market passenger rail was never profitable, and that the only profit they had was from freight and express/mail service. Instead of trying to clamp down and return to real free market conditions like the UK government is the Italians governments usually give in to pressure groups; so it's no wonder their spending is disasterously out of cntrol .

- Also with typical London bias the media ignore that there is a UK beyond London. The comparison with Rome is also misleading cos London is much bigger than Rome (I know cos I walked from the countryside right through it)
- Merseyside annual train ticketa : 1 zone = £568, 2 zones= £711 ...2012 prices

Sourcecheck - Campaign for Better Transport have in the past sent out letters before seeking lists of negative things tories have done.. not the worst crime ever

BTW many things in Italian supermarkets like bread, cereals, biscuits etc cost 3-4 more than I pay at home ..so is it fair to compare one country to another ?

More Or Less : Excellent edition : the figures behind UKs high speed rail, results of a global warming bet and executive pay

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